Fantastic coverage in the Herald’s Business HQ on Friday. Our MD Rich Rankin was interviewed by Tony Harrington on the benefits of switching water providers for Scottish businesses.
Brighter Prospects – Herald 18th August 2017 by Antony Harrington
One company that specialises in the SME market believes that transparency in billing and pricing is crucial
While the bigger water retailers have a national focus, Brightwater was formed 15 months ago with the aim of focusing exclusively on the Scottish SME market.
Rich Rankin, managing director of Brightwater, points out that the Scottish economy is overwhelmingly comprised of small to medium sized businesses.
“This is a market where cash matters and where transparency and honesty in billing for services is absolutely critical. Since we launched, we have been very focused on providing the highest quality of service at the best possible price to the SME business sector.
He continues: “The utility industry has a reputation for not being focused enough on the quality of service provided to customers. Our ethos is based on driving the highest standards of honesty, transparency in charging, and customer support and care, in a sector that historically has not had a positive reputation in these areas.”.
On service there is a lot the company can do to add value for SMEs of all sizes,
Most of the contracts Brightwater negotiates with clients are for a fixed term duration. However, Rankin notes that the company is able to provide landlords with say, shopping centre premises, with a great deal of flexibility to help them with periods when a unit might be without a tenant. At such times the landlord becomes responsible for all utility bills, but it would not be feasible to lock the landlord into a three year contract when a unit is unoccupied for a couple of months.
To help clients, Brightwater has pioneered a flexible charging mechanism that charges the landlord on a “per-day” basis. This means that their bill will stop on the day that a new tenant takes possession.
According to Rankin, there are two key reasons why businesses of any size will want to switch their water provider. The first is price, the other is service level. “We are competitive on our price when we go head-to-head with our competitors. On service there is a lot the company can do to add value for SMEs of all sizes,” he explains.
“There is still a lot of data inaccuracy in the market, so we help SMEs to review their historical services to make sure the data is correct and we advise them as to how to remedy things if there are significant errors.
We often see opportunities where we can change the charging structure for a company and save them money. For example, they may be on an unmetered connection where a metered connection would be a lower cost option,” he notes.
Rankin finishes: “Brightwater will continue to grow its SME base by acquiring new customers and providing them with a great service. It’s simple but it’s effective.”